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If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?

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  • Comin, Diego
  • Mestieri, Martí

Abstract

We study the lags with which new technologies are adopted across countries, and their long-run penetration rates once they are adopted. Using data from the last two centuries, we document two new facts: there has been convergence in adoption lags between rich and poor countries, while there has been divergence in penetration rates. Using a model of adoption and growth, we show that these changes in the pattern of technology diffusion account for 80% of the Great Income Divergence between rich and poor countries since 1820.

Suggested Citation

  • Comin, Diego & Mestieri, Martí, 2013. "If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9466
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    great divergence; technology diffusion; transitional dynamics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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